Cooler temperatures have finally set in, but the relative heat of March has certainly affected the crops here on the farm. With spring growing days almost four weeks ahead of schedule our farmers jumped into projects that normally would have waited until April. The unseasonably warm weather created the biggest threat to our perennial crops (Christmas trees, strawberries, blueberries, and to a somewhat lesser extent grapes) as plants began to wake from their winter slumber. Once buds begin to break open, they are often in great danger of being damaged by spring frosts.
One of the biggest changes for us this spring revolved around the tree planting schedule. Each spring our farmers plant thousands of two to three-year-old evergreen seedlings in the fields, mostly during the month of March. But this spring we completed that huge task well ahead of schedule thanks to many long days spent in the fields as the ground became workable. By the end of March we planted over 23,000 trees!
Now that temperatures have dropped back within normal limits we can all breathe a little easier. Crops are no longer speeding towards summer at such a breakneck pace the farm can regroup and continue with routine April tasks (at least for the moment). Wonder what Mother Nature has waiting for us next?